Behind the Scenes at the Changes, Norsewind, David E. Williams, Lussuria Concert at Germ Bookstore, October 2nd, 2010,2005 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Norsewind, @ Folkish Winters Night, 2009
The audience was treated to the great talents of a diverse musical lineup in the bookstore and gallery known as Germ here in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia on a pleasant October evening. Artists, musicians, poets, players, Goths, Heathens, and just plain folks from the neighborhood were treated to pre-concert tribal drumming and fiddling by the energetic and seriously Heathen band known as Norsewind who set up on the pavement outside the store and sent the call out to gather.
The concert began with Lussuria, a one man performance consisting of subtle manipulation of a noise generator setup. Otherworldly and sometimes disturbing, Lussuria rode with us on raw waves of sound that were at once foreign and familiar. Several newbies to emerging techno-pop I soon learned to just let go and enjoy the ride.....it worked!
The inimitable David E Williams was up next with his ensemble consisting of his guitarist, Jerome Deppe, up from Baltimore for the opening of his photographic art now on display in the gallery at Germ. The DEW band was rounded out with a dynamite female electric fiddler, Adrina Hanson, a new bass player, David Talento, Dave's great drummer , Rustin Grosse, and of course Dave on the keyboards and vocals. They played a quick set featuring some of the better known songs Dave has written over the years concluding with his tribute to that cannibal African head of state, Idi Amin. Dave's usual dark stuff with a whiff of Weimar republic in there.
We paused in the concert here for a sound check as some voice and bass sound was overblown and all the books dampened any reverberations. However, Dave soon had the balance restored.
Up next, Norsewind, the new big kid on the block for the Neofolk Scene. I saw them last year at Folkish WinterNights in Virginia. Dan Norris and his magic band kickass. Great Irish/Norse drinking music and a magic fiddler, Dan Riegle. They featured a beautiful young lass on tambourine who kicked up some authentic folk dance steps at one point, Anna Houston and they are completed by a seriously talented drummer., Brad Doudna. These cats are out of my own county in Pennsylvania, Berks County or as they say in the Deitsch dialect, Barricks Kaundi. Norsewind totally energized the scene...even the Goths could hardly control themselves from tapping their feet. These guys are superstars..AND HEATHEN..keep an eye on them!
Then came the headliners, the venerated and venerable Changes. I certainly wouldn't want to follow Norsewind but Changes is getting used to that, having also done it at last year's WinterNights and the old men showed why they are on top and have been there practically inventing Neofolk since back in the Sixties. Robert Taylor on vocals harmonized with his cousin, Nicholas Tesluk through songs of joy and loss and hope, darkness and light. It was mesmerizing. And the crowd was totally engrossed. Nicholas plays a twelve string guitar which sounds like a whole band by itself. And he was sharp on it this night. Theirs was a long set....but we could have done more!
Conversing with Nicholas out front on the sidewalk where everyone was smoking and drinking prior to the set. He spoke of his nutty flight from New Mexico where he lives. I think he took a plane from Albuquerque to Dallas, Dallas to Atlanta, Atlanta finally to Philly all on frequent flier miles which he had to arrange with one of these off shore eight hundred numbers that connect you to Bangladesh or something. Robert was boarding a Greyhound Bus back to West Virginia the morning after the show. These guys really love what they do and they love the Folkish Heathen community, and hey we love em right back!
It was a hel of a night!
Hunter M. Yoder